Don’t Panic, We are in Africa
Just one week to go before we deliver the work we set out to do here in Tanzania, and we are still working on our deliverable, as we are quickly learning to be livestock managers. Yes, today we spent a bit of time on Google University trying to figure out the gestation period for cows, sheep and goats and the number of possible female vs male off-springs.
A few weeks ago, a cow was just a cow… now I can talk about cows, heifers, steers, or bulls — oh.. and not just any bull, but improved bulls!
It is quite funny when my colleagues Alex, Sascha and I are having a serious discussion about the ideal distribution of livestock, the cost to buy or income from selling a cow, as we try to put together a rudimentary algorithm to get the best return on investment.
Did you know that the turnaround time for sheep and goat is about 4–6 months; you can buy a young animal and sell after you fatten them for double the price you paid…unless there is a drought and your livestock starts to die.
Who would have thought I’d be using terms like profit, operating cost, return on investment, yield along with the words herders, cows, goats and sheep!
Ironically this week we took a field trip to Karatu where the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) — the NGO we are helping out, was training leaders from their Interest Generating Groups (IGGs) on business planning, and financials. These Maasai women and a couple of men will then be training members in their IGG, When they asked me to speak about our project and about SAP. I didn’t get much reaction when I said ‘enterprise software’ but when I told them that when their business grew to be big, they can then use SAP software to manage their business; they liked that very much and applauded and laughed!
We have four working days to figure it all out and to deliver our funding plan with alternative income options for PWC.
No need to panic, this is Africa (TIS) and we will figure it out, even if we are away for the weekend exploring Tanzania and bonding with the team. Mind you, we’ve done a bit of bonding and exploring for the past two weekends!
Scenes of Tanzania
I should probably be writing more about my project, but in rebellion to the poor internet access from my hotel room, I’ve decided to not panic and instead share some beautiful pictures of Tanzania from our weekend trips.
The Baobab Tree is the largest of its species growing up to 30m high with a long lifespan, most of the large trees in Tarangire are over 1000 years old!
It was definitely strange being 20ft away from such a beautiful animal that could see me as her lunch, and the only thing that kept us apart was the chassis of the Toyota Land Rover we were in.
Towards the end of our weekend safari, as we were heading towards the main gate our guides from African Traits rushed to the scene of a leopard sighting. Our guide Osmann was great and would not tell us why rush until he could point to the Leopard in the tree,
Family of Elephants…. check out the cute babies! the younger ones were about 3 months old.
Love them stripes!
We may be working hard for our clients, and we may be starting to panic as time is going so fast… but we are also playing and discovering the beautiful Tanzania.